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  • Apple Patents a Motion Sensing Keyboard


    A newly discovered Apple patent suggests Apple may be looking at ways to implement multi-touch interfaces without a touchscreen. MacRumors uncovered the application, which describes Kinect-like technology that would allow users to point and make gestures in the air above the keyboard, just as they would on a trackpad.

    The patent application, entitled "Image Processing for Camera Based Motion Tracking," notes that the keyboard is still the preferred way of entering data into a computer. However, as many users have noted, it can be inconvenient to have to take their hand away from the keyboard while typing and move it to a mouse or trackpad to make a selection or execute some command. This invention would use four small cameras around the main keys, two on the left and two on the right, pointing upwards towards the user in order to sense three-dimensional motion of both hands.

    The switch from "keyboard" to "invisible trackpad" mode would happen when the user presses a key and holds it, or engages a "sticky" key (a key that changes mode when you press it once, like caps lock). The cursor would then follow the movement of the user's opposite hand and fingers. When the pointer is on the target, the user would tap whatever two keys are under her fingers to click.

    As always, the fact that Apple has applied for a patent on this technology doesn't mean that there's going to be a product using it any time soon, if ever. However, Apple's been putting huge resources into multi-touch interfaces, and it's still unclear how they're going to be able to bring the gestures of iOS into the desktop computing world. Certainly, offering a way to be able to keep your hands on the keyboard is going to be attractive to business users and other professionals. If they can make this work smoothly and intuitively, they'll have an enormous advantage over the competition.

    Source: MacRumors
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Patents a Motion Sensing Keyboard started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 20 Comments
    1. jose060789's Avatar
      jose060789 -
      Sounds interesting.

      Sent from my iPhone 4 using ModMyi
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Motion Mouse, Motion Keyboard, it's the way of the future.
    1. iPhoenix3g's Avatar
      iPhoenix3g -
      I do think apple just like to patent everything just incase ... Next a talking iToaster! Sign me up!
    1. recognition's Avatar
      recognition -
      inconvenient to move your hand from keyboard to mouse/trackpad?!

      How lazy are these people!??
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Somehow I can't imagine using this without making a crap load of accidental gestures.

      And how in the hell is moving your hand from a keyboard to trackpad inconvenient?!
    1. McMichael96's Avatar
      McMichael96 -
      I would lot rather have a touch screen on a Mac but no... "our hands/arms fell like they are going to fall off"
    1. iliveudie's Avatar
      iliveudie -
      That would be awesome.
    1. neonsector's Avatar
      neonsector -
      Quote Originally Posted by steve-z17 View Post
      Motion Mouse, Motion Keyboard, it's the way of the future.
      Watch minority report one too many times?
    1. Samcole28's Avatar
      Samcole28 -
      Sweet!
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      if you work on computers ALL DAY LONG as i do...any motion becomes daunting :]
    1. algojobathosai's Avatar
      algojobathosai -
      wow....we will work like John Anderson???
    1. Xenthis's Avatar
      Xenthis -
      Apple wants to make everything multi-touch. It stinks because I personally would like to stick to my normal, scrolling, and ergonomic mouse.... I don't want to type on an iPad with the tips of my fingers.... I WANT REGULAR PHYSICAL TOUCHABLE INTERFACES!
    1. torbengb's Avatar
      torbengb -
      Finally Apple is "inventing" the iType -- we've waited six years for that, or ever since Apple bought FingerWorks; the original multitouch company that already had multitouch touchpads and (yes!) keyboards on the market until Apple closed the shop:




      fingerfans.dreamhosters.com
    1. shabz_de_don's Avatar
      shabz_de_don -
      Quote Originally Posted by neonsector View Post
      Watch minority report one too many times?

      Lol true

      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      haha awesome
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by neonsector View Post
      Watch minority report one too many times?
      Lol just a few times good movie though!
    1. coolguy742's Avatar
      coolguy742 -
      Quote Originally Posted by iPhoenix3g View Post
      I do think apple just like to patent everything just incase ... Next a talking iToaster! Sign me up!
      hahaha, true Apple is a HUGE patent squatter!
    1. Rob2G's Avatar
      Rob2G -
      Quote Originally Posted by iPhoenix3g View Post
      I do think apple just like to patent everything just incase ... Next a talking iToaster! Sign me up!
      I wonder how we would put the itoaster in dfu to jailbreak it?
    1. RyanOBrian's Avatar
      RyanOBrian -
      Wayne Westerman is a thug

      Wayne Westerman: Multitouch at the University of Delaware
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      Quote Originally Posted by recognition View Post
      inconvenient to move your hand from keyboard to mouse/trackpad?!

      How lazy are these people!??
      this is exactly what i was thinking, im all for new technology but this sounds ridiculous, but i think that if you had to press a key inorder to engage it would be inconvenient as well. but that would cool to just wave your hand in front of your keyboard and scoll on a page